The Q&A Archives: Problems with Tomatoes Growing in Containers

Question: My tomato plants are in large pots and receive lots of afternoon sunshine here in Northern Virginia. They are providing a lot of yellow buds that seem to keep dropping off. I have heard that it may be too much or too little water or, perhaps, getting water on the leaves and buds. What can be done to keep the buds in tact so that they will bear fruit?

Answer: Tomatoes require uniform amounts of water -- not too much, not too little, and definitely no dramatic swings between too much and too little. Extremes and the swings prevents fruit formation. In pots, keping moisture at a uniform level is very much harder than in the ground. One help would be to mulch the soil in your pots. This would moderate the soil moisture as well as thetemperature, hence eliminating the swings . Another thought: I'm not sure where your pots are located but if they are out of the wind and/or where bees cannot reach them, you may have to play mother nature and give the blooming branches a little shake every now and then to help pollinate them.

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